Strategic Research Circle

"Extravagance and Waste"


Waste always follow extravagance. The root word for extravagance is Latin extra + vagari ("to wander"), meaning wandering beyond proper limits, norms, course, or limit.


“… and eat and drink, but be not excessive. Indeed, He likes not those who commit excess (Aaraf 7:31)


The dangers of over consumptions are three. First, it unnecessarily excite the envy of others. Second, it creates competition in spending to keep up with others, third, it widens the gap between poor and rich class, shrinking the middle.


UK household throw out 18 billion pounds of food every year. The serving portion can be small and people can clean the plates after they done eating. EU wastes around 200 billion pound of food every year


Al Shaybani, talks about expenditure. The criteria of virtue is to avoid excess and to follow the path of mediation. In eating for example, the aim is to satisfy hunger, one should not produce great variety of dishes or accumulate food beyond what is necessary. which is waste (israf). On the other hand, allowing oneself to die of hunger or depriving one's family of basic necessities is considered extreme greed. What is true of food is true of clothing. A Muslim must avoid "wearing his clothes with arrogance" but neither should he clothe himself in rags. The ideal lies in moderation (khayr al umuri awsatu ha)


"It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers, to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense, either by sumptuary laws, or by prohibiting the importation of foreign luxuries. They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in the society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs. If their own extravagance does not ruin the state, that of their subjects never will" Adam smith


It is narrated that Ibn 'Umar said: "The Messenger of Allah saw a man performing ablution, and he said: 'Do not be extravagant, do not be extravagant (in using water).'" (Maudu')


Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) said: We have been forbidden to go into excess.[Al-Bukhari]


Tusi (1201 – 1274) stressed the importance of saving and warned against the extravagance and spending on jewelry and uncultivable land, regarded them unproductive assets. He considered saving as a smart idea as long as it is protected from greed and miserliness. Holding back can also bring unnecessary hardship to ones family. A miserly person can risk his integrity and honor in the society    


Geniza people in 10th century Egypt were definitely not food-oriented. To have a belly was considered disgrace.


Allah Most High says, "And the raiment of godfearingness is better" (Koran 7:26).


The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: "Only those with no share in the next world wear silk in this one."


"He who eats or drinks from vessels of gold or silver but swallows hellfire into his belly." Hadith


The quality of life in any society depends on how capital circulates in their economy from people who spend it in a responsible way and people who spend it an irresponsible way


“When civilization expands, the available labor increases. In turn, luxury increases in correspondence with the increasing profit, and the customs and needs of luxury increases. The prosperity and wealth they enjoy lead them to luxury and things that go with it, such as splendid houses and cloths. Crafts are created to obtain luxury products. The value realized from them increases and as a result the profits are multiplied in the town. Production is thriving even more than before. And so it goes with second and third increase. All the additional labor serves luxury and wealth, in contrast to the original labor that served the necessity of life” Ibn Khaldun on economic growth


“Like those before you, who were stronger than you in might, and more abundant in wealth and children; they took enjoyment in their share; so do you take enjoyment in your share, as those before you took enjoyment in their share. You have engaged [in vanities] in which they engaged. 

(Tawba 9:69)


“Worldly wealth was bestowed upon us and we were given thereof too much. We are afraid that the reward of our deeds have been given to us in this life." 'Abdur-Rahman then started weeping so much that he left the food. Narrated Sad bin Ibrahim


According to one of the prophet Mohammad(s) traditions, Wealth is a ladder that people can use to climb up to heaven or down to hell


“I (Mohammad) am not afraid that you will worship others beside God, but I am afraid that worldly life will tempt you and cause you to compete with each other for it."  Narrated Uqba bin Amir


“Know that the present life is but a sport and a diversion, an adornment and a cause for boasting among you, and a rivalry in wealth and children” (Quran 57:18)


Narated Al-Mughira: I heard the Prophet saying, "God has hated for you three things:


1. Useless talks, that you talk too much or about others.

2. Wasting of wealth (by over-spending)

3. And asking too many questions (in disputed religious matters) or asking others for something (except in great need)


When the daughter of businessman Mohammed Sultan got married recently, guests were treated to a lavish 30-course meal served in super-sized silver platters. The Kashmiri feast, prepared by an army of chefs, included more than 20 meat and kebab dishes rich with spices to go with the saffron-flavored rice and naan breads. Hours later, after the more than 500 guests had eaten their fill, the leftovers were dumped by the cartload at a nearby garbage site.


The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said:

"Do not wear silk or brocade. Do not drink from vessels of gold or silver or eat from dishes made of them: These are for others [non-Muslims] in this world, and for you in the next."


Almost 80 percent of National Football League players are flirting with bankruptcy two years after they retire, according to Sports Illustrated. NBA players aren’t faring much better. 60 percent of former National Basketball Association players end up broke within five years of retirement. Athletes squander millions of dollars due to bad decisions, lavish spending and poor financial planning. Here is a list of athletes that have lost their fortunes through some of the biggest financial blunders of all time.


Scottie Pippen

Known more for his on court defense than his off court business sense, former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen lost $120 million in career earnings due to poor financial planning and bad business ideas. Air Jordan’s sidekick blew $27 million on bad investments and spent $4.3 million on a Gulfstream II corporate jet.


Evander Holyfield

Four-time boxing champ Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield reportedly made over $250 million in cash during his boxing career, but despite this he reportedly is flat broke. Holyfield lost all his money by making “smart” business decisions look really foolish. You thought buying a house was a smart move? It normally is, but not when you buy a house the size of Rhode Island. Holyfield bought a $20 million house with over 54,000 square feet and 109 rooms. The house has 11 bedrooms, 17 bathrooms, a movie theater, a bowling alley and an Olympic-size swimming pool. Imagine how much it must cost to cut the grass on all 235 acres! You could buy a Range Rover with the electric bill payment alone.



Lenny Dykstra

Former New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies star Lenny “Nails” Dykstra was a success on the baseball diamond, but in the business field Dykstra has struck out. Dykstra’s failed businesses include car washes, a magazine company, real estate investing and a stock trading website. According to Dykstra’s July 2009 bankruptcy filing, he owed more than $30 million to creditors, including his $18.5 million purchase of Wayne Gretzky’s home. The amazing part is that after two foreclosed homes and numerous failed businesses Dykstra is offering the investment advice that led him into bankruptcy for a mere $899 a year! In the investment world, it is often said that past history does not dictate future performance. Nevertheless, it’s pretty clear Dykstra isn’t the guy to go to for advice.


Latrell Sprewell

Look up the word “shortsighted” in the dictionary and you will see a picture of Latrell Sprewell. He famously turned down a $21 million contract because he said it wasn’t enough money to feed his family. Sprewell, who made over $96 million during his career, lost his $1.5 million dollar Italian yacht, named “Milwaukee’s Best”, in 2007. According to MSNBC, a U.S. marshal seized the yacht after Sprewell defaulted on his mortgage. His $5.4 million house went into foreclosure in May 2008. Don’t blame Sprewell for turning down the three-year, $21 million contract though. I mean really, who could live off a measly $7 million a year?


John Daly

Two-time PGA major champ John Daly gambled away between $50 and $60 million in career earnings, according to his 2006 autobiography. Daly once lost $1.65 million in five hours playing the slot machines at a casino. If you think that’s impressive, there’s more. Daly blew $1.2 million in a mere two hours and 30 minutes at a casino in Las Vegas. He just had his $1.6 million house foreclosed on. Did Daly quit gambling after blowing so much cash at the casino tables? Not by a long shot. Instead, he decided to downgrade from the $5,000 slot machines to the $100 and $500 machines. It looks in John Daly’s world, that is considered sound financial planning.


Jack Clark

Former professional baseball slugger Jack Clark was driven into bankruptcy in 1992 by his appetite for luxury cars. According to his bankruptcy filing, he owned 18 luxury automobiles, including a $700,000 Ferrari and a Rolls Royce. Clark was trying to pay 17 car notes simultaneously, and whenever he got bored with a car he would get rid of it and just buy another one. He ended up losing million-dollar homes and his drag-racing business because of his extravagant spending habits, but despite one of the most publicized bankruptcies in baseball, Clark reportedly got back on his feet in the late ’90s.


Mike Tyson

The king of them all is boxer Mike Tyson, who squandered a $350 million to $400 million dollar fortune. So what did “Iron” Mike spend his fortune on? Everything. He dropped half a million dollars on a 420-horsepower Bentley Continental SC with lamb’s wool rugs, a phone and a removable glass roof. It is one of only 73 Bentley Continental SCs ever built. The sad part is that’s not even the only Bentley that Tyson owned! He spent over $4.5 million dollars on cars alone. Throw in a $2 million dollar bathtub and $140,000 for two Bengal tigers and you can see why Tyson’s fortune is down for the count. He filed for bankruptcy in 2003.


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SRC is largely funded by foundations memberships and by individuals. Our target audiences are policymakers scholars journalists businesses and the civil society.

SRC is governed by a board consisting of entrepreneurs educators professionals and philanthropists. Our areas of studies include society economy governance and foreign policy